Questions related to the perception and measurement of light (primarily in the visible range), its mathematical description, the reproduction of colors by different means, color combinations, etc. Please use the tag [electromagnetic-radiation] if you want to refer to the general form of light.

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12
votes
4answers
655 views

How does interference move energy from destructive to constructive regions?

I recently read (sorry but I don’t have a reference) that interference is not only about destructive and constructive interference but moving energy from destructive to constructive regions according ...
3
votes
2answers
506 views

How can a green laser be reflected as orange?

My friend recently bought a high-powerd pocket laser pen (from China). It is green, and reflects off most surfaces as green. On some orange surfaces, it reflects orange instead. That is to say, we ...
1
vote
0answers
65 views

Is there spatial data loss in light passing through transparent crystal?

There is perfect parallelepipedal bar made of transparent crystal with cubic lattice floating in vacuum. Faces of parallelepiped are parallel to lattice axis. There is image, forming checkerboard ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is getting a tan in the evening less likely than getting a tan in the morning?

When I was young I read one book in which is written that you get more tan on the morning than on evening even light angle from Sun to Earth is the same. Don't remember exact reason, I think because ...
2
votes
1answer
227 views

Refraction of light in water

Here's a question in a paper based on refraction of light. I can't seem to solve it for some reason. A man looks down at a fish length of 20 cm. His eye is 2m above the surface of the water ...
44
votes
6answers
7k views

Why are most metals gray/silver?

Why do most metals (iron, tin, aluminum, lead, zinc, tungsten, nickel, etc.) appear silver or gray in color? (What atomic characteristics determine the color?) What makes copper and gold have ...
6
votes
3answers
219 views

Can visible light be emitted from a non-thermal source?

I was reading about thermal and non-thermal radiation and I was wondering if visible light can be emitted from a non-thermal source?
7
votes
2answers
925 views

Slowing down light in an opaque crystal for a whole minute

I just read about a team of physicists at the University of Darmstadt, Germany, that managed to completely slow down a beam of light that traveled through an opaque crystal (article here). How is it ...
5
votes
2answers
764 views

Why is glass much more transparent than water?

There is a related question (Why glass is transparent?) but I am coming at it only from Maxwell's equations. One can determine the skin depth $δ$ for poor conductors like (pure) water and glass using ...
2
votes
0answers
72 views

Collimating and homogenizing a divergent tunable-spectrum light source

I have a light source (Xenon lamp) which has the possibility to be tuned over spectral range of 390 - 740 nm with 1 nm spectral accuracy . Bandwidth at each wavelength is about 20 nm . Output ...
-4
votes
1answer
167 views

how can u split the Photon? [closed]

If any equations are there ,for split the light particle, means that i have a 1m length of light just consider that in that who can i split the light particle into 1/2 m length Pls tell
-5
votes
1answer
168 views

how can u control the speed of light? [closed]

The light traveling a 3 lake km/sec, but Pls tell me how can a control the speed of light, means can limit the speed like 2 lake km/sec are 1 lake km/sec Pls tell me equation
2
votes
2answers
381 views

Diffraction and waves

Sorry about my poorly worded question as i'm not to good at explaining but bare with me so here i go. Does sound come as straight lines like ||||| and become diffracted into curves when it passes ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Star visibility in outer space even during the day?

Say I am in a space shuttle and have reached outer space. Is it true that during the day it possible to see stars outside through the window? Do I have to wait until night? Why is this the case?
0
votes
1answer
132 views

The Movement of Light

I've asked several other questions like this, and I know it's a dumb question but I really can't understand. When light is emitted from a moving source, it still moves straight in that source's frame. ...
0
votes
1answer
140 views

Scanning electron microscope imaging

In a scanning electron microscopy, secondary electrons are defined as the electrons which obey inelastic scattering whereas backscattering electron follow elastic scattering. Now my question ...
1
vote
2answers
142 views

Is it possible for a photon to be at rest? [duplicate]

I know it doesn't really make sense if looking at the photon from the wave point of view, but is there any law of physics which prohibits a photon from stopping completely? Thanks.
1
vote
1answer
137 views

Accelerated Light Sources

When someone accelerates towards a light source, how does the light that's radiating off from it look? I suppose in an inertial frame, all the light should be moving off straight from the source, but ...
-3
votes
1answer
196 views

Describing the path of light from a moving source with waves [closed]

Can anyone explain the path of light to me, using a wave model, that show the angled path in different reference frames?
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Why does light always travel in a straight line?

No matter the frame light is in, it always moves in a straight line in that frame. Why is that? It doesn't seem like something to me that should necessarily be true. If some one runs forward and sends ...
2
votes
2answers
181 views

Light in Different Reference Frames

I think I'm just confused, but for some reason I thought that light moving straight in one frame would have to move in the same direction in another frame. I know there are photons-but because I have ...
6
votes
1answer
97 views

How far can one look into space while relying on light in the visual spectrum?

Put the other way around. From how far does visible light reach the Earth to be observable by a telescope that operates in this spectrum? Gas clouds for instance absorb light. A star behind such a ...
3
votes
2answers
106 views

Would it be possible to build a Solar Panel Etalon?

Since, on average, 1/3 of all sunlight that hits a solar panel is reflected, wouldn't it be possible to set up some kind of etalon system where the reflected light is then absorbed by another solar ...
-1
votes
0answers
71 views

How to determine spatial color distribution? [closed]

Is there an easy way (i.e. free or open source tool) to determine the spatial color distribution (i.e "intensity") in a picture or in a region of interest of this picture? Let's say I used a laser or ...
28
votes
3answers
5k views

Where does the light go when I turn off the light switch?

As above... Surely it must go somewhere? My child asked me this question and it was a difficult one to answer.
2
votes
1answer
281 views

How “wide” is a beam of light? What is its half-diameter?

If you believe ray optics where a light ray is a straight line, a light beam is infinitely thin. If you think of fiber optics, you can guide a whole lot of photons down a fiber only one or a few ...
2
votes
2answers
324 views

Finding the illuminance from a triangular light source

Since most light sources in games are point-like, it's pretty difficult to approximate area light sources with point sources. As triangles are a universal form to represent 3D models (thus area light ...
1
vote
1answer
650 views

Light dispersion in water

Simple question: Water is clearly not disspersive if we have it, for example, in a glass of water. We don't see the rainbow through a glass of water. However drops of water disperse light in the ...
6
votes
1answer
770 views

How does sun light after it has passed window's pane still heat me up?

I believe it is so because most of photons' energy has successfully passed the glass. But is it so? And how can I roughly estimate part of light's energy which will pass obstacles like glass? And how ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do some materials reflect (metals) and other materials reflect and refract (glass) from the quantum perspective?

Recently I was asked to explain the difference between reflection and total internal reflection from a purely conceptual standpoint (no math). Let me explain what I already know. Reflection and ...
3
votes
2answers
289 views

Photons-Wave/particle duality

I know that photons and electrons and such are said to have a wave particle duality, but what does that mean for a photon? When light strikes an object, are many photons emitted, enough to draw ...
97
votes
7answers
8k views

Stupid yet tricky question: Why do we actually see the sun?

I haven't yet gotten a good answer to this: If you have two rays of light of the same wavelength and polarization (just to make it simple for now, but it easily generalizes to any range and all ...
6
votes
2answers
658 views

Why does a glass window reflect white objects white from an atomic scatterers’ viewpoint?

Related: Is a white object always white? If you are standing in front of a glass window during the day, you can see your dim white t-shirt’s reflection in the window. The reflection is dim because ...
5
votes
1answer
323 views

Where in the atmosphere is the blue light scattered?

I have searched Wikpedia and the Physics Stack Exchange archieves, and I cannot find the answer to these two related questions. If it is, please guide me to where this information is located. If ...
3
votes
1answer
381 views

Is a 3 LED flashlight brighter than a single LED one? (same LEDs, same power through each LED)

Say I have one LED in a flashlight, it produces some light. Now, if I have 3 of those LEDs in the same flashlight, each LED receiving the same amount of energy than the single LED was receiving in ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Can Quantum Stealth be Real?

I've recently heard about this new material called Quantum Stealth which is suppost to be a replicate of Harry Potter's 'Invisibilty cloak' . Apparently the material, bends light waves around a target ...
1
vote
2answers
82 views

Photon's multiple frequencies by Fourier

Since any source of light will have a finite duration, the light emited won't have a particular frecuency. It will be a sum of different frequencies (infinite, I think) if we apply Fourier's series ...
0
votes
0answers
51 views

can we break the speed of light [duplicate]

I know this is impossible but I just want to know where I went wrong. here's my proposal: Let us imagine that we have a source of light and a switch that are far one light year from us. so it would ...
5
votes
3answers
282 views

Why does light seem to occlude objects in front of it

My question: why does light seem to occlude an object in front of it, especially when viewed from a distance? E.g. imagine a grid-like structure (for example an empty gasometer) viewed from a ...
1
vote
2answers
760 views

What makes radio waves refract?

What materials cause radio waves to refract? What are the radio IOR's of these materials?
8
votes
3answers
626 views

Why do stars flicker?

Why do stars flicker and planets don't? At least this is what I've read online and seen on the night sky. I've heard that it has to do something with the fact that stars emit light and planets reflect ...
1
vote
2answers
290 views

Why can't some light ever reach earth? [duplicate]

Note: I'm a layman in physics. Excuse me if this question is a duplicate, I lack the knowledge in technical terms to find the answer to this by research (I've tried). Let's suppose there's a star ...
-2
votes
1answer
120 views

Is light particle of wave?

We know that Young's double slit experiment shows that light is a wave. On the other hand photoelectric effect shows that light is made up of photons. How can light be both at the same time?
-5
votes
2answers
2k views

Does shadow have mass? [closed]

I know it sounds like a foolish question but I have a reason for asking and I'm hoping someone here, can give a convincing response. Here is why I pose the question...it seems to me that all this ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does the Sun feel hotter through a window?

I have this big window in my room that the Sun shines through every morning. When I wake up I usually notice that the Sunlight coming through my window feels hot. Much hotter than it normally does ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

How close do two wavelengths of light need to be to produce a metamer?

Suppose I have two wavelengths of light ($r_1$, $r_2$) coming from a source. These rays are then reflected specularly on a surface. What is the minimum distance required for the two wave trains of ...
3
votes
1answer
175 views

What is the largest diameter an optical fiber can have? - for nonimaging visible light transmission

Is there any theoretical limitation on the size of the diameter of an Plastic optical fiber? I would like to transmit visible sunlight through it. I see bundles of small cores available but wouldn't ...
1
vote
2answers
286 views

Is it possible see an invisible light with something similar to a normal lens of an eyeglass? [closed]

Let's say that I am a spy in a room with a lot of people and I want to communicate with my friend using Morse code via a light signal. Does there exist a type of light (laser or otherwise) that is ...
27
votes
5answers
2k views

Is a proton collision (collisions like in the LHC) visible to the human eye?

I was curious if a proton collision is visible to the human eye. (This might sound like a really basic question and forgive me if it is. I am very inexperienced in Physics and just wanted an answer ...